With the New Year upon us, I find myself looking ahead. I can’t believe it has been seven years since the death of my husband (December). I feel, as most days, I am fine with the fact that he is gone, and this new life is becoming comfortable and familiar. It seems that as the end of 2013 was approaching I found myself reflecting on the memories of my past life, as a wife and mother, now that my daughter is grown and has moved away. The place I once called my home is now just an empty place where I go at the end of my day.
The last couple of years I felt as if I was moving in the right direction in my grief. But since my daughter moved away some of my grief came back. There is a feeling of loneliness and darkness, a sense of trying to find where I belong was back. This last weekend I set aside some time to check in with myself, to see if my heart, my brain and my body were all on the same page. I realized that I was doing OK with my grief, but my mind was confused. So I made a list of the pros and cons of this new situation I found myself in. Then I put a letter “H” by the ones my heart was in line with and an “M” by the ones my mind was working on, only to find out that they were all the same. The two most difficult things where my heart needed to be full at night and my mind needed to stop wondering at night. So I needed to come up with a plan.
On Sunday nights, I make a list of things (positive things not just household tasks) that I need to accomplish during the upcoming week. Now, when I get home from work, I turn on the lights, and the radio or television, for some extra noise in the house. I then complete something on my list every night. In the past, I would come home and sit in the dimly-lit family room and just be alone. Now I have small projects I do every night. My heart stays full and my mind stay on the task I am doing. When it is time for me to get ready for bed I am content and tired so I drift off to a sound sleep.
For those of you who don’t make New Year’s resolutions, how about setting some goals with rewards if you stick to them. I plan to live 2014 in color; no more living my life in the gray. I will take the time to see things around me in the fullness and beauty in which life has intended them to be.
Although my grief journey has been filled with many sorrows, the joy and wonderment I found along the way made the burden of my husband’s death easier. I am one of those people who believe that everything has a purpose, and we need to open our hearts and minds to be able to embrace reasons before us. No matter at what age we are when we becomes grievers, I believe that deep down inside we possess the strength and the capability to heal what has been place before us.
May you find peace and comfort in learning the true meaning of life.
Peace and Comfort in 2014,
Agnesian Bereavement Center & Grief Relief